The Western media, wittingly or not, are aiding our enemies.   Islamabad — The week I was in Afghanistan this winter, two big stories hit the international press. The first involved the publication of photographs of German NATO troops apparently “desecrating” the remains of dead Afghans. The second was about the accidental killing of up to [Read more…]

Has the Surge made life better in Iraq? Even folks like Angelina Jolie — no fan of President Bush — are admitting that it has, writes Jonathan Foreman. March 17, 2008 The “Surge” has not “won” the war at a stroke. It has not brought all of America’s troops home. It has not enabled Iraqi parliamentarians to [Read more…]

(Winner of the 2009 SAJA award for  outstanding editorial/commentary on South Asia, or South Asians in North America) Jan. 28       In the days since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, much has been revealed, though little about the murder itself. Its culprits and even its means remain a mystery shrouded in rumor. What did become all too clear [Read more…]

Booby Prize Aravind Adiga was born in India but grew up in Australia and America; Rohinton Mistry was born in India but emigrated to Canada. Both have written novels that take a hard look at modern India. Mistry was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991 for Such a Long Journey, in 1996 for A Fine [Read more…]

Mumbai: On the 'Slumdog' Trail (Standpoint March 2009)

The Mumbai slums where Danny Boyle shot Slumdog Millionaire are a world of surprises. There are the gaggles of uniformed schoolchildren running through unpaved streets, satchels bouncing on their skinny backs – they study only in the morning or afternoon so they can work for a living the rest of the day. There are the Dickensian [Read more…]

In the spring of 2005, I watched two U.S. Army units training Iraqi National Army soldiers at a base in Baghdad. One Iraqi brigade was in the care of a 100-man company belonging to an armor battalion of the Third Infantry Division. The company’s officers and men lived on the base with the Iraqis, went on [Read more…]

The wind has changed in India’s capital, though not in a way that might disperse the ever more noxious smog produced by the thousands of new cars that hit the streets each week. Since the November terrorist attack on Mumbai, India’s richest and most populous city, magazine and newspaper headlines have called for the country to [Read more…]

The last enclave of pagan tribespeople in remotest Pakistan might already have fallen to the combined ravages of modernity and militant Islam were it not for a redoubtable, eccentric Englishwoman. The journey to Birir in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan takes you along a terrifying jeep track of 11 hairpin miles. It winds so sharply [Read more…]